[kde-community] KDE fundraisers and things we've learned

Cornelius Schumacher schumacher at kde.org
Thu Jan 1 23:27:33 UTC 2015

On Monday 22 December 2014 21:00:25 Mario Fux wrote:
> One can see it from the perspective of distracting each other and fighting
> for the audience. But I'd see this as a rather destructive way of handling
> this discussion. I would like to talk about the opportunities we miss(ed),
> we can and should learn from each other, base new fundraisers on the what
> we've learned before, use our strength like the KDE community as a social
> network, the dot.kde.org as one of our bigger communication channels, so
> let's crowd distribute the information for our crowd funding. We can and
> will do better than we do now.

It's great to see that we have increasing success with fund raisers. Last year 
we have raised more money with fund raisers than ever before, and that is an 
excellent sign that we have a community which is able to sustain the work we 
are doing for free software.

The discussion has gone on some tangents which don't do this success justice. 
We should not discuss how to distribute a fixed cake, but how we can grow the 
cake bigger. Bruno has put it the right way, that successful campaigns 
demonstrate that projects are active and are doing the right things, and Boud 
has told the stories about how Krita reaches out to people we have never 
reached before. This is the stuff which I find exciting. We can build on that.

It is a truism that our money is finite. But this community consistently deals 
with requests for money in an extremely responsible way. It actually is 
amazing how many people try hard to only request the money they really need, 
bring in own resources or try to get others to help before they ask KDE e.V. 
Of course we need to manage the budget of KDE e.V., but the best way we can do 
that is with the happy feeling that we are able to help, not with a feeling of 
envy or unfairness, if an active and successful project gets a good amount of 

Mario is right in saying that taking the perspective of fighting for the 
audience within KDE is destructive. We don't need to go down this path. We can 
grow our audience. We can multiply our success by working together. Fund 
raising is about asking for money. We should not be afraid of doing that, no 
matter if it's for a single application or for the overall community. If we do 
it with the passion for our work and with the awareness of being part of a 
bigger community, we can reach much more than if we try to limit and control 

> What we definitely need is better coordination and communication. What do
> you think, would a fundraising workgroup help? Not really a group that's
> doing a fundraising but that's there to help, coordinate and teach and
> distribute their knowledge.

Coordination is extremely important. It should be clear to everybody that each 
project and we as community are operating in a larger context. I don't think 
we need to introduce more formal organization here. People do want to do the 
right thing, and we should remove obstacles, not create new ones.

We do have the kde-ev-campaign at kde.org mailing list, which is meant as the 
central place to coordinate fund raising campaigns. Let's try to make best use 
of this, invite people working on fund raisers to subscribe there and share 
their plans, so we can all learn and align the activities which need to be 

> Additionally we should add it to our Manifesto. Money is not an easy topic
> but avoiding it doesn't solve the problems. And if people don't know about
> certain things like that they should coordinate with KDE e.V. in the case
> of money they won't. So it's on us to tell the community and tell new
> members of the community.

I don't think that this should be in the Manifesto. It is a very concrete 
issue and it is valid, but I think it is not on the level of what should be in 
the Manifesto. The Manifesto and other documents like the code of conduct 
define higher-level values, and things such as coordinating about fund raising 
can be derived from them.

We should approach this from a pragmatic point of view of how to get things 
done best and do what is needed for that. This will be much more helpful than 
trying to nail down a documented rule.

Cornelius Schumacher <schumacher at kde.org>

More information about the kde-community mailing list